Prospectus and About Us

Exploration and Development Geophysics Education and Research (EDGER)

The EDGER Forum is a consortium of industry participants sponsoring Education & Research in Exploration Geophysical Technology.


  • Continuous and evolving access and interaction with MS and PhD students providing a stream of graduates ready to be employed by industry
  • Participation in defining research directions and access to results of student, post-doc and faculty research
  • Exchange of information and a way to transfer and share technological advancements between industry and academia

The University of Texas at Austin

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RESEARCH: Overviews and products
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Presentations from August 17, 2017: Sen(intro) Sen(Machine Learning) and Spikes

Download PDF EDGER 2017 Products

The UT-Austin EDGER Forum is a consortium of petroleum producing and service companies focused on educating graduate students and conducting research on development and application of geophysical methods to support exploration and development of petroleum reserves. The Forum also coordinates education and technology transfer between producing and service companies and academia.

RESEARCH: Pushing the limits of seismic resolution

In the past decade, efforts have increased to search for hydrocarbons in difficult areas and in unconventional and fractured reservoirs. This search prompted acquisition of multi-azimuth and wide-azimuth datasets and development of processing algorithms using more complete physics of wave propagation. Currently the primary focus of EDGER is on advancement in quantitative seismic interpretation (QSI). This involves development of advanced techniques for high-resolution estimates of reservoir properties by integrating disparate datasets observed at multiple scales. The scope of research encompasses three major themes:

  • Development of new techniques for seismic imaging and inversion
  • Development of new rock physics models and adaptation of existing rock physics models to a particular field under investigation
  • Development of new rock physics models and laboratory measurements of attenuation in the seismic frequency band;
  • Integration of seismic inversion and rock physics models using novel statistical approaches and validation with field datasets.

Our imaging and inversion efforts include development of new theory and numerical algorithms for forward seismic modeling that are computationally efficient and accurate. These are used in full waveform imaging and inversion. Inversion for reservoir parameter estimation will be carried out using hybrid Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. Effective medium models are being tested by computing the seismic responses of realistic rock models based on distributions of rock properties. We are developing new data integration techniques using geostatistical methods and Bayesian analysis.


Research Team

Dr. Mrinal K. Sen , Co-principal Investigator

Mrinal K. Sen is a professor and holder of Jackson chair in Applied Seismology with joint appointment at the institute for Geophysics and the department of Geological Sciences. His research interests include seismic wave propagation and inverse theory. He has co-authored two books on geophysical inversion. His group has been engaged in developing new techniques for seismic modeling and inversion including data integration for subsurface model building.

Dr. Kyle T. Spikes, Co-principal Investigator

Kyle T. Spikes is an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences with a focus in rock physics. His interests primarily involve the integration of geologic information with quantitative tools for seismic reservoir and basin characterization. This area of research includes both forward and inverse problems that combine rock physics, stochastic geologic modeling, and seismic-attribute analysis.

Dr. Nicola Tisato, Co-princpical Investigator

Nicola Tisato is an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences who specializes in the low-frequency measurements of attenuation. Other research interests include examining an attenuation mechanism that involves the exsolution and dissolution of bubbles. His group also engages in computing effective elastic properties of digital rock images without the use of segmentation approaches.

Thomas E. Hess, Applications Manager

Mr. Hess provides crucial technical support for the EDGER Forum’s research efforts as Seismic Applications Software Manager. He oversees seismic data sets from our sponsors and supports graduate students, faculty and researchers for the Exploration Geophysics program in the Dept. of Geological Sciences as well as for the UT Institute for Geophysics.